Best Cenotes near Cancun
Cenotes are a highlight of the Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula and, because there are soooo many of them, we’ve chosen our favorites, the best cenotes near Cancun you HAVE TO VISIT!
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What is a cenote?
Coming from the Mayan word ‘dzonot’ meaning ‘well’, cenotes are natural water-filled sinkholes that naturally appear in limestone rock when an underground cave collapses in on itself and exposes the groundwater underneath. Located inland, cenotes are jewels on the landscape an irresistible turquoise hue and cristal clear water.Most of the cenotes are in the area between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum and in the Yucatan Peninsula between Valladolid and Merida. Some are more accessible than others with the one’s open for tourists being safest and easiest. Skip the sunscreen to protect the water’s ecosystems and crystal transparency.
There are thousands of cenotes around the Yucatan Peninsula so make sure that you are visiting at least one of them while on holiday in Cancun.
The best cenotes near Cancun
Once finally arrived in the Yucatan peninsula after booking your flight to Cancun, visiting cenotes should be on your schedule. Yucatan and Quintana Roo regions have over 6000 cenotes so it can be tough to choose which ones to visit on a short vacation but make sure you have it on your Cancun itenerary. They are perfect for a day trip, the best thing to do with kids, friends or for a romantic escape. Check our top selection of the best cenotes near Cancun.
Cenote Siete Bocas, Puerto Morelos
The Cenote Siete Bocas, the pool of seven mouths, is a unique formation with seven small entrances into its maze-like cavern system. Siete Bocas is perfect for a lazy day of adventure, allowing you to jump cliffs, swim and explore underground caves and pools. Surrounded by jungle, this cenote is both quiet and shady, with the opportunity for a short jungle walk. Cenote Siete Bocas is located inland from Puerto Morelos, 12 kilometres from Highway 307 on the Puerto Morelos Cenote Road, La Ruta de Los Cenotes, easily accessible by “collectivo”, taxi or with a private transportation.
Cenote La Noria, Puerto Morelos
Cenote La Noria is our favorite out of the best cenotes near Cancun, as gorgeous at the surface level as it is underwater. A snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise near Cancun, Cenote La Noria treasures clearly bottomless crystal-clear waters swimming with fish while impressive stalactites hang from above, giving the feeling of exploring an ancient Mayan underworld museum. Just slightly further away than Siete Bocas, Cenote La Noria is an jewel spot, in proximity to a variety of eco-parks and adventure tour operators all keen on helping visitors get the most out of La Ruta de Los Cenotes. Just over an hour’s drive from Cancun’s best beaches, Cenote La Noria is definatly one of the top Cancun cenotes, reachable within an afternoon.
Cenote Zaci, Valladolid
Valladolid is a cute colonial town in Yucatan rich in history and filled with charming mexican colonial vibes. It is also home to a few amazing cenotes including the Zaci cenote which benefits from a ton of natural light thanks to the partially collapsed cave roof. The view on the jungle and town context is unique to Zaci, with a raised perimeter path perfect for cliff jumping. Just three blocks from the historic town centre, Cenote Zaci retains an mystical ambience, just 2 hours from Cancun.
Cenote Ik Kil
The Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá are an extremely popular day trip from Cancun and one of the most spectacular cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula. The nearby Cenote Ik Kil is among the best cenotes near Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula. The roof of Cenote Ik Kil has collapsed entirely and tree roots fall into the cenote transparent waters making a perfect mystical and magic scene. Both Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik Kil are easily accessible from Cancun in a day and we recommend to book a private transportation to avoid the cowd, as most tour go there.
Cenote Azul, Playa del Carmen
Located just a few minutes of Playa Del Carmen, Cenote Azul, the Blue Cenote, is vrey accessible in public transportation or private car. Very different from others of the best cenotes near Cancun, Cenote Azul is a natural spring area straight out of a Grecian mythic scene. Rocks in turquoise pools with tropical fish swimming around, pockets of jungle with colorful birds and iguanas, places to lounge in the sun between dips into the cool water.
Cenote Samulá, Valladolid
Another of Valladolid’s best known and locally-run cenotes, Cenote Samulá offers good infrastructure and services, all yours for a small entrance fee. Also lit by a singular ray of light, the Cenote Samulá offers to the visitor a spectacular dramatic lighting serves to highlight turquoise waters enclosed with tree roots.
Cenotes Dos Ojos, Tulum
Near Tulum, Cenote Dos Ojos pulls its visitors through a series of dark caverns on a slow-moving underground river. Home to both bats and small freshwater fish, Cenote Dos Ojos is like something straight from myth, emprisoned by stunning cave formations and featuring natural columns, stalactites and stalagmites. It is also a famous cenote for divers as the underground system is huge. Easily accessible from the main highway north of Tulum, Cenote Dos Ojos is both convenient and mystical.
The incredible Suytun Cenote is also amongs one of the best cenotes near Cancun to visit on a day trip. With a perfect round underground cave and a walkway situated right in the middle of it, the Suytun cenote is both spectacular and picturesque, perfect for photografies. During the summer season, a light beam shines right unto the walkway creating a sacrificial-like setting. It’s easy to spend a few hours at the Suytun cenote Ooo-ing and Aaaa-ing at its incredible location.